Netball’s sharp stop-start motion can often cause serious injuries in participants, with the ankles being a particularly vulnerable area.
In a 2004 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, injuries were most common in the ankle in a study group of junior players. Netball South Australia recommends that netball players provide extra support to their ankles to decrease the risk of major injury.
Which is preferable: a brace or a strap? There is no definitive answer. It may ultimately come down to your own preference. However, there are some key advantages to using an ankle brace over tape.
Braces might look more expensive at around £100 a pair. However, if you add up the amount of tape that you would use over a season for training sessions and matches, you would soon outspend what you would on braces with the most popular brand of tape selling at about £3.50 a roll.
Taping just one ankle can take twice the amount of time it does to put on braces and trainers. This time is much better spent playing the game or even doing some fun and valuable netball drills such as those devised by http://www.sportplan.net/.
Some tape can leave a sticky residue on the skin, affecting the appearance of your legs when you take the tape off.
Taking the tape off is like ripping a strong plaster off of your skin. Some people can also suffer skin irritation from the adhesive on the tape. It has been reported to cause symptoms such as a severe itching and burning sensation and even hives on the skin of the legs.
Here are a few ankle braces you might want to consider using.
Aircast Airsport Ankle Brace
These braces are incredibly strong and allow hardly any lateral rotation of the ankle, making them particularly useful if you happen to suffer from weak ankles.
Mueller ATF Ankle Brace
This brace offers mid-level support. It is a lace-up type that will suit all shapes and sizes of ankle. It includes a strong insert, which provides good support down the sides of the ankle without being too restrictive.
McDavid Ankle Brace
This brace has additional velcro straps on top of the laces for additional strength and support.